If there is one thing that most people fear, it is getting older. It is scary to think that your youth will eventually drift away, your skin will wrinkle, your range of motion will decrease, you will lose muscle mass and get weaker, and your body and abilities will break down. Is there a way to keep this from happening? Is there a way we can avoid this decline?
The simple, direct, and honest answer is no. Despite the claims made by companies selling creams, lotions, pills, and potions, we will all grow old. While pharmaceutical and nutritional companies scramble to create medicines and supplements promising to turn back the clock, restore youthful energy, and make you young again, the reality is that you are getting older, and you will break down.
The sooner you acknowledge that old age and death are absolute inevitabilities, the sooner you can start feeling more comfortable with the aging process, the sooner you will become more accepting of the changes you simply can’t avoid, and the sooner you can get busy living the best life possible.
People have been falling for false claims, empty promises, and gimmicks forever. The anti-aging industry has made billions of dollars from millions of people. And I have heard some say that these companies should be regulated better, controlled more, and punished for misleading Americans. I agree with that, but the current FDA that is failing to properly, ethically, and scientifically manage things during this pandemic, is the same FDA that has failed to protect consumers for decades.
These pharmaceutical and nutritional companies are misleading the public by using false advertising, making unproven claims, overstating benefits, and understating risk. Many would say that they need to stop misleading the public. I agree with that. However, I would more strongly emphasized a message to the public… STOP BEING MISLED!
Why do some get misled, while others do not? Why are some duped out of their hard-earned money, while others are not? Why are some even harmed, while others are not. The answer is because some read, think, study, ask questions, and apply common sense… while others do not.
My mother always said… if something seems too good to be true, it likely is. How many things are you going to fall for, only to realize later that it was a mistake? How many things are you going to buy, only to realize that there was no way they would do what they claimed to do? How many times are you going to listen to the same people who have repeatedly failed you, lied to you, and misled you before you open your eyes, open your mind, and realize that you have got to start thinking for yourself?
Back to aging… the human body is mechanical. All mechanical things eventually wear out. Spoiler alert!!! You will get old… and you will eventually pass on from this earth.
There are three options… 1. Throw in the towel, give up the fight, and wither away miserably; 2. Keep buying into the anti-aging myth, and spend all your time and money on lotions, potions, and pills that promise to erase your wrinkles, melt fat away while you sleep, and get you climbing mountains again; or 3. Accept that your body is aging, adapt the wellness lifestyle to slow that aging process as much as possible, modify your lifestyle to remain active in the things you love, and continue to reinvent yourself in an appropriate way for the age you are.
It drives me crazy when other doctors tell my older patients to stop doing the things they love (i.e., gardening, hiking, golfing). If you are having trouble with some of things you love doing, don’t stop… just modify how you are doing them.
You may not be as strong as you used to be, your skin may not be as firm as it used to be, and your enthusiasm may not be as strong for some things as it used to be. Embrace these things. Accept them, not as a decline or failure, but as the natural part of aging as a human. You are alive right now. You have a lot to offer. And you have the ability to reignite your excitement about life. Stop doing the things you hate. Start doing the things you love. And please, please, please, stop being misled!